updated 06:00 am EDT, Fri March 30, 2012
ETSI postpones nano-SIM vote due to divisions
Standards body ETSI has put the controversial nano-SIM vote on hold following a tumultuous build-up ahead of their latest meeting. According to FOSS Patents, the deep divisions between various smartphone makers including Apple, RIM and Nokia made it impossible to move forward with the vote as planned. Matters were further inflamed ahead of the vote with RIM also accusing Apple of vote-stacking by using proxies to conceal the identity of at least three member voters whom RIM has alleged actually work for Apple.
Ahead of the vote, Apple's proposed nano-SIM design had been expected to clinch the necessary numbers. However, both RIM and Nokia objected to the Apple design, even though Apple had offered to licence it free of charge. Nokia was not impressed however, and threatened to withhold its patents essential to the proposed nano-SIM design if Apple's design was picked ahead of its own. As a consequence, the vote cannot take place for at least the next 30 as per ETSI guidelines.
Further, SanDisk has also resisted Nokia's nano-SIM design, claiming that it looks too similar to the microSD card format and that, as such, could infringe on patents held by the SD Card Association. The Nokia and RIM designs are also generally viewed as problematic as their design would only work in a phone purpose designed to house the new layouts for subscriber data. The carriers prefer Apple's design as it avoids this problem.